San Juan Island Update - serving San Juan Island, Friday Harbor, and Roche Harbor

August 6, 2008

Last Music on the Lawn evening - it's tonight!
Mona Warner and Friends....her songs in Spanish and English can be upbeat and rhythmic or melodic that reflect deep thought and emotion. She will draw you in and leave you asking for more. A warm and thoughtful evening to close the concert season for Island Rec.

That's Alden (right) at the end of last week's show, taking it on home.

Getting better.....
I went by Islands Convalescent Center (ICC) Tuesday to drop in on Gary Bowman.

You'll remember Gary was riding his motorbike on June 26 and hit a deer, and the force of the collision threw him forty feet. He was flown off to Harborview Hospital, where he was in a coma for a week before he started to come around. He was able to come back to the island in mid-July, and was mending at the ICC until this week, when he found he had been accepted into a program for treating head-injured adults at the University of Washington Hospital.

His wife Yvonne says they're working him pretty hard, and he's pretty proud that he can do some things he wasn't sure he'd be able to do. He had a nearly hour-long walk yesterday, spent a couple of hours working on simple everyday tasks, and is doing puzzles and other mind exercise to sharpen his mental acuity. She says he keeps the physical therapists laughing and has been doing everything cheerfully. The present goal is to learn to walk on his own, and to continue to get better at everyday things.

Yvonne says she hopes to be back at the post office working next week, and she wants to thank everyone for all the love, support, prayers, and help they have offered (including the good folks at the ICC, as well as the EMTs and the Sheriff's Department) - she says the island has given her and Gary a lot of strength.

Sea lion onboard....
A family on their boat near Clark Island (just northeast of Orcas) found a sea lion on the back of the their boat this weekend...and the grandson wanted to keep it as a pet. Whaddya do? Here's more....

"Life is an ongoing process of choosing between safety (out of fear and need for defense)
and risk (for the sake of progress and growth). Make the growth choice a dozen times a day."
Abraham Maslow

What's happening on the island!
click for more info:

Coffee design, at Mi Piace Coffeehouse, right above the ferry landing.
Starting today, the coffeehouse is open each day till 2pm...drop in!

August 5, 2008

Belted kingfisher? What's that?
Unfold the truth (and see one) on Monika's blog. (Click here.)

Jim says it's time to sign up:
EMS chief Jim Cole (right) says to do it, now:

San Juan Island EMS is now accepting applications for the Fall 2008 Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) course which begins September 3, 2008. Requirements and application are available on their website at Completed applications are due no later than August 20th at 5 PM at 540 Spring Street. For further information see their website or email

Hospital news....
Alan from the Hospital District reports:

The PeaceHealth Board of Directors has approved the signing of a non-binding Letter of Intent, enabling the not-for-profit healthcare system and the San Juan County Public Hospital District #1 (SJCPHD#1) Board of Commissioners to continue exploring the expansion of healthcare services on San Juan Island. The Hospital District Commissioners had already unanimously approved the same Letter of Intent at their public meeting on June 25, 2008. Here's more.

That's Tiffany announcing the ferry is coming near Lopez on Sunday - guest announcer for WSF....

Save Our Schools Campaign is Within $93,462 of Reaching $300,000 Matching Gift Goal

Press release: Superintendent Michael Soltman reported today that the Save Our Schools (SOS) Campaign has raised $206,538 toward a matching gift goal of $300,000. Soltman reported that the combined “challenge” and “matching” gifts have reached $413,076 toward addressing the $600,000 program shortfall. These funds have restored all teaching positions and have sustained class sizes and instructional programs.

Funds have also restored the athletic program, PIP program, special education assessment services, and some secretarial, custodial, and paraprofessional services.

Soltman said, “The remaining $93,462 must still be raised to obtain
the matching funds to fully restore essential services such as
playground supervision, paraprofessional support for struggling
learners, secretarial services, custodial services, and food service for
students.” Paul Lebaron, President of the San Juan Public Schools
Foundation, expressed confidence that the remaining funds will be raised
in August to fully restore all programs and services. Lebaron said,
“The Schools Foundation Board will be on site at the County Fair to
continue to raise funds for these essential services. We appreciate the
generosity our community has shown and we invite everyone to be a part
of closing this remaining funding gap.”

Community members wishing to make a contribution may call the Community
Foundation at 378-1001, or the Schools Foundation “SOS Hotline” at
370-7925, or to use the “donate now” secure link on the Foundation

In May, Charlie Anderson, President of the San Juan Community
Foundation, announced that local donors had coordinated together to
award a $300,000 “Challenge Gift” to the School District to mitigate
anticipated program reductions due to a $600,000 operating fund
shortfall projected for 2008-09. The donors included an anonymous donor
through the “Fairway Fund”, and gifts from David McCauley and Cloud
Oakes, Scott Boden, Charlie and Pamela Anderson, and Roger Salquist.

A Save Our Schools Campaign involving over 465 individual donors, and
generous donations from Valmark Inc., Carolyn Haugen, Rich and Joan
Komen, Purple and Gold Booster Club, and Roche Harbor Resort have
generated a total of $206,538 in matching gifts.

Soltman also reported that the long range financial planning task force
will be underway in August with information to the community by
mid-October. Community members will be invited to assess priorities and
share ideas for long term planning and funding of our public schools.

Getting around town...I saw this young man on his scooter (right) with a motor on the back, on the road last week in the rain. He definitely has the right idea for meeting the gas crunch.....

Dead killer whales....the oldest & the youngest....
The Center for Whale Research says they're pretty sure the oldest whale around, K-7 (Lummi), hasn't been spotted this year & is probably dead at the estimated age of 98. Meanwhile, Amy Traxler reports a calf's body was also discovered (click here for a picture, which is shows the dead baby)'s more:

On August 2, the San Juan County Marine Mammal Stranding Network recovered the body of a dead orca calf from Open Bay on Henry Island.   The body was initially sighted and photographed by a part-time resident of Henry Island during the low tide on the morning of July 26. Unfortunately, the Network did not get the information and pictures until several days later so when the carcass was finally recovered, it was in a state of advanced decomposition.   

“A newborn killer whale calf is usually 7-8 feet long and 300-400 pounds,” says Amy Traxler, Stranding Network Coordinator.  “This carcass was approximately five feet long with an estimated weight of 70-80 pounds so it’s likely this calf was aborted.” The placenta was lying next to the calf when originally discovered.

Currently it is not known if this killer whale calf was from the endangered Southern Resident population or was a transient or offshore ecotype. Joe Gaydos, the Stranding Network’s Veterinarian and Regional Director of the SeaDoc Society, will collect tissue samples when they conduct a complete necropsy.  “If we recover viable skin and blubber, which is not always possible from a decomposed carcass, we might be able to determine if the calf is a member of the Southern Resident Community and possibly even narrow down the pod of origin.” Fresh tissue samples also would contain information on contaminant levels and possibly provide a cause for the calf’s abortion.

It’s very rare to recover a body of a stranded killer whale. A recent paper Gaydos presented to the International Whaling Commission suggests that only an average of 7 killer whale carcasses are found around the world annually, making every killer whale stranding a rare opportunity to learn more about the biology and diseases of this species.

In May 2002, L-60’s (Rascal) carcass was found on the outer coast of Washington. In January 2002, the body of a female transient whale was recovered down by Dungeness Spit.  The body of J-18 (Everett) washed up by Tsawwassen, B.C. in March of 2000 and the body of L-51 (Nootka) was found in September, 1999 over by Victoria, B.C..  All of these carcasses were fresh, permitting scientists to learn more about the diseases of killer whales and which diseases might have an impact on the overall health of the population. Fresh necropsy samples also have helped scientists understand how contaminants impact killer whales.

The San Juan County Marine Mammal Stranding Network is one of many science and education programs at The Whale Museum. If you encounter a stranded marine mammal in San Juan County, alive or dead, please call 1-800-562-8832 and leave a message with your name, phone number, location, and other pertinent details of the stranding.  You will be helping to better understand and protect the region’s marine mammals.

Music at the Port this Friday....
Marilyn Karon wanted me to share this with you:

Musekiwa Chingodza, master mbira player, will be performing solo and with
Ruzivo Marimba band from Whidbey Island on Saturday, August 9th at the
Port of Friday Harbor from 3.00-5.00pm. This performance will be repeated
outdoors at Roche Harbor Resort on Sunday, August 10th from about
2.00-4.00pm. Musekiwa will also be teaching a hosho workshop and offering
private lessons in mbira. Please contact Julie Ishihara at (360) 303-9574
if interested. Musekiwa will also play on the main stage at noon on the
opening day of the San Juan County Fair.

Musekiwa was born into a family of great mbira players in Mwangara
village, Murewa, Zimbabwe in 1970. He began playing at the age of 5 and
is self-taught. He says,"Our music is both medicine and food, as mbira
has the power to heal and to provide for people".
Currently, Musekiwa teaches at Prince Edward School in Harare. He is an
excellent singer, dancer, drummer and plays both dzavadzimu and nyunga
nyunga mbira. Musekiwa recently started a project, Serevende Music and
Cultural Arts Center, in Zimbabwe, aimed at helping orphans and other
impoverished people in his home village to attend school, attain life and
literacy skills and sell their crafts. In addition, Serevende has a goal
of creating a cultural center in Zimbabwe where visitors can come and
learn in depth about all aspects of Zimbabwean music".

August 4, 2008

Have you dropped by the island's newest bakery yet? Bakery San Juan is located on Mullis Street right next to the place where airport users who use the tiedown area come out the gate - that's Patrick (he's the boss) with his assistant Wendy showing off the cake they made for Becca at Mi Piace for her birthday.

Drop by & say hey!

Wanna fly?
There's a new outfit called Northwest Sky Ferry, operating out of Bellingham that stops here - check them out at their website.

Who's in charge....
I just saw Nancy Tiederman downtown & she says retirement from her pastoral duties is going very well ... meanwhile, St. David's David Bentley tells me the church has not been left rudderless (or pilot-less, with rudder intact; or without a compass) - here's more:

The Vestry of Saint David's Episcopal Church is pleased to announce that Rev. Doug Simonsen is the Priest in Charge during the transition in Rectors at the church. Fr. Simonsen comes to St. David's from Anacortes, WA, where he has served as a member of the support clergy for the "Komo Kulshan Cluster" of five Episcopal and Lutheran churches in the Skagit Valley.

The Vestry invites members of the community to come to services at 8:00 and 10:00 on Sunday mornings and meet Rev. Simonsen.

Candidates Forum was well-attended....
Saturday's forum at the Mullis Center had 80+ folks attend from this island, with even more seeing the way things went online (The League of Women Voters tells me it's posted here - I checked & the video & sound are good. Check it out!)

On the ferry Saturday evening, I ran into Congressman Rick Larsen (right), who told me he flew in from Washington, DC for the forum the night before.

Rachael, around....
Rachael Ray has been filming for her TV show here since last week - a friend says she saw her & said howdy Friday night at Steps downtown. I haven't seen her, but I did see that Griffin Bay Books put Rachael's books in the window (click here to see 'em).

It was good to see Lisa Brown (right) and her daughter Meaghan McCormick at the store earlier in the week....Lisa's enjoying working at the County Council as a deputy clerk, while Meaghan is getting ready for her last year in high school.

I know you're interested: Here's a picture of Meaghan in '99 at the Easter Egg Hunt, when she was little. Check it out, in the Update back then.

It was a success....
Sounds like the Animal Shelter's fundraiser last weekend went great - and raised the money they were hoping for - here's more from APS vice-prez Chris:

A week ago, on Sunday, July 27, the APS-FH held its 4th annual “Wags to Riches” event at the home of Bob and Lissa McDowell.  It was, yet again, our most successful event to date, netting approximately $50,000- for shelter programs, improvements and operations.

Last year we established a critical care fund for extraordinary medical expenses for shelter residents that allows us to provide a level of care that equals what they would receive in a home environment.  In the past 18 months we utilized $2200- for extraordinary care for 12 shelter animals most of whom have been adopted.  During the live auction we received pledges of almost $7000- to replenish and supplement that fund.

Our second “Fund a Need” was for repairs and maintenance to the existing roof which dates from the original construction in 1992.  Due to the generosity of the donors we received over $11,000- in pledges for this much needed capital expense. 

The entertainment by Wish-n-Wells Canine Agility proved to be very popular with the attendees.  They were joined by several local canines who strutted their stuff in typical island fashion.  The Kubatana Marimba Band again donated their time and talent to the enjoyment of all.

Next year’s event is already in the planning stages.  We will keep you all posted or check out our website for updates.  

On behalf of the Board of Directors, the shelter staff, the volunteers and especially the animals in our temporary care, I wish to thank everyone who assisted us in making this event a success.  The support of businesses and individuals in the form of monetary and product donations and volunteer hours towards the production of this event helps us immeasurably in continuing to make a difference in the lives of our four-legged friends and companions.  We could not do it without them. 

Thank you for caring!

Chris Sly-Prochnow, Co-President
APS – FH Board of Directors

Dusting is a good example of the futility of trying to put things right. As soon as you dust, the fact of your next dusting has already been established.
George Carlin

August 1, 2008

That was Val Curtis and Cole at Wednesday's Music on the Lawn, dancing to the beat. Val tells me she's staying home again this school year, to hang with the boy, who probably will be able to skip middle school science after having her as his mom.

Seeing the whales from a kayak....
In her blog, ace photographer Monika Weiland says you just don't see the killer whales from kayaks that often, but she did. Click here to read her story, and be sure & click on the cool picture she took, so you can see the larger version - really cool. You'll like it.

Trashion Fashion needs you!
It was a great hit last year in its first year at the Fair, and it's back! Francie Hansen (left) has more:

The Trashion Fashion show is awaiting your creative entry idea by midnight August 4th. The astro-turf stage, the garbage can spotlights, the music possibilities are ready. All you need to do is get your idea to the website (click here!) by midnight August 4th and follow the prompts. (Trashion show rules are --> click here )

The garment must be complete and wearable and ready for the show by the dress rehearsal on August 11th. We know you've got the right stuff. "Just go for it" You'll be a star!

You gotta sign up now.....
You only have a couple of weeks to sign up for this cool camp from Island rec:

Skyhawks Sports Camp returns to San Juan Island: Skyhawks is the largest provider of youth sports programs in the country.  Each program focuses on the development of individual sports skills in a safe, positive and encouraging environment and is designed to engage the imagination of young athletes.  The enthusiastic staff implements a unique curriculum which allows for maximum participation and fun!

During the week of August 25-29 Skyhawks will be offering three different camps.  Mini- Hawks takes place in the mornings from 9am-noon.  Boys and girls ages 4-7 will explore soccer, baseball and basketball through a variety of fun specialized games for these developing athletes.   Cheerleading for ages 7-12 is offered from 1-4pm.  Scheduled at the same time as Cheerleading is a Multi-sport camp featuring baseball and basketball for youth ages 7-14. 

August 15 is the deadline to register.  For more information about Skyhawks Sports Camps and other summer recreational opportunities call Island Rec at 378-4953 or visit

It's the Playrite Boys playing at the Port - check 'em out!

Recession is when a neighbour loses his job. Depression is when you lose yours.
Ronald Reagan

July 31, 2008

Youngest kid at Music on the Lawn....
While Keith & Kate were singing last night, there were nearly 300 people listening, including tons of kids. The youngest of that lot was Griffin, right, who insisted on bringing mom Joan Mainville-Davis (right) and dad Chris Davis rather than just hanging out at home. Griffin's a campaigner - he was born the day before at 3:25am.

If anyone younger than 40 hours was there last night, please raise your hand.

Dori & Kate change their phone number....
Here's the news:

Stillpoint School is pleased to announce a phone number change! Our new phone number is (360) 378-2331. Stillpoint School will retain its original number, 378-9760, as a secondary line until the new phone number has been published in upcoming phone books. Stillpoint School’s phone number change is effective immediately.

Get your license!
Keri from the Town wanted me to tell you:

Businesses have until 4:30pm July 31st to pay for their 2009 business license in the Town of Friday Harbor without incurring a 50% penalty. Licenses were originally due by June 30th. Businesses that have failed to notify the town that they are no longer in business in writing also face getting an infraction from the town.

Want to be Identified as a Green Business?
Susan Key from the San Juan Nature Institute is looking for business partners to promote the use of native plants through a ‘Go Native’ Treasure Hunt at the San Juan County Fair. There will be a drawing each evening for a prize (gift certificates are welcome).

All prize contributors will be listed on the treasure hunt form and at 6 participating booths. Here’s an opportunity to promote your products and services to potential customers attending our County Fair! Email Susan Key at if you are interested in donating. Participating booths include SJNI, Site Elements, SJ Horticultural Society, SJC Noxious Weed Committee, SJC Agricultural Committee, and SJC Marine Resources Committee.

Candidates' Forum - it's this Saturday!
The League of Women Voters are putting it on at the Mullis Center - here's more.

Seal pup stealing - it's a crime.....
This Seattle-based online paper says a woman in Coupeville was stopped by police - and she had a seal pup in the back seat, which was taken to our island to Wolf Hollow. Here's more.

The play starts tonight at the Community Theatre (that photo of the cast above is by Jan Bollwinkel-Smith) - click on the picture to see a bigger one.

Sneaky starts tonight!
Here's more from Jan:

Word is getting out about old Golpher Gulch and that lily-livered Sneaky Fitch! 

The Death and Life of Sneaky Fitch by James L. Rosenberg is one hoot of an old west comedy on the Whittier stage.  Directed by Jane Maxwell Campbell, it OPENS this Thursday, July 31 at 8:00 p.m. But come early at 7:30 p.m. for complimentary opening night party vittles catered by Deb Nolan.  There will be yummy southwestern-type finger foods, refreshing drinks and then sweet desserts after the show.

This romp of a show highlights new and known San Juan Island talents—see the cast list below and you’ll likely recognize some names.  And if the names don’t ring a bell, just wait till you see the faces (hint: Scott from the Post Office, Lisa from Downtown Dog, Dana from Classic Cab Company).

We are recommending the play for folks 8 years and older (there’s some loud gun pops, some melodramatic death scenes, and a “hell” or two).

And DON’T WORRY, if you can’t make opening night - we have more performances Friday and Saturday (Aug. 1 & 2) at 8:00 p.m., and on Sunday, August 3 at 5:00 p.m.  The final shows are Thursday through Saturday, August 7-9.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $8 for student reserved and $5 student RUSH at the door.  The box office is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.,  Saturdays 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and one hour before each performance.

See you in Gulpher Gulch!


Narrator                                                                     Jandira Shelley

Mervyn Vale                                                              Warren Baehr

Mrs. Vale                                                                   Melody Rice

Mervyn Vale, Jr.                                                        Sam Paul-Barrette

Maroon                                                                       Lynda Guernsey

Mrs. Snit                                                                    Sandy Baird

Sheriff Jack Oglesby                                                  George Iliff

Doc Burch; Mrs. Craven                                           Greg Hertel

Rev. Stanley Blackwood                                           Dana Rice

Mrs. Blackwood                                                        Susan Schirmer

P. K. Blackwood                                                        Joe Adamo

Sneaky Fitch                                                              Scott George

Lily West                                                                    Tyla McKay

Melissa Snit                                                                Julia Smith

Rackham                                                                     Lisa Moretti

Cowboys Joe, Bill and Bob                                        Nicolas Zervas

Cowboy Clyde                                                            Tylon Brizendine

Emerald                                                                        Diana Stepita

Sapphire                                                                      Hanna Burke

Guitar Man                                                                    Ed Wilson

Zeus                                                                               Himself

Ian Byington sings
The information here is simply stuff we here at By Design think is important around Friday Harbor or on San Juan Island.

Some of it is news, some of it is old news, and all are just things we wanted to mention, with most of it about the things that make living here great.

There will be more next week, if anything happens.

Ian Byington

This site prepared by our friends at By Design in Friday Harbor.
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2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and next year, too
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Unauthorized reuse of the content of these pages is prohibited;
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